– A con artist who was captured in
Florida in May was sentenced today for stealing
$164,900 from an elderly West Orange man.
The woman pleaded guilty in July to a charge
of theft by deception, admitting she and
another woman conned the elderly man out
of the money by feigning romantic attachment
to him and pretending they needed loans
for business ventures.
Miguel, 49, a.k.a. “Girl Z,”
formerly of Newark, was sentenced to five
years of probation by Superior Court Judge
Michael A. Petrolle in Essex County. The
judge also ordered her to perform 250 hours
of community service. Miguel provided $60,000
in restitution at the time of the guilty
plea, and signed a consent judgment to pay
the remaining $104,900.
has been jailed since her arrest on May
6 in Orlando, Fla. At her plea hearing on
July 28, Judge Petrolle ordered her to remain
in jail pending sentencing with bail set
at $1 million.
pleading guilty, Miguel admitted that she
and her co-defendant, Susan Frank, 46, a.k.a.
“Chicken,” stole the money by
making the victim believe he was making
business loans that would be repaid. Miguel
must cooperate in the ongoing case against
Frank, formerly of Elizabeth, who is a fugitive
and whose last known location was Texas.
belongs to a group of transient con artists
who prey on the elderly. She and Frank were
indicted on June 20, 2007 on charges of
conspiracy, theft by deception and money
laundering. The charges against Frank are
pending. Miguel introduced herself to the
victim, a retired financial adviser, at
a diner in Linden in July 2003. Miguel,
who used the alias Theresa Pachino, told
the victim she was a hotel designer and
remodeler who needed financing to complete
a project. The victim provided Miguel with
cash and checks totaling about $104,900
for her purported business. In 2004, Miguel
introduced the victim to Frank, who used
the alias Paulina Johns. Frank allegedly
claimed to need funding for a national cleaning
business she inherited. In October 2004,
the victim allegedly provided Frank with
three checks totaling $60,000.
Attorney General Lee Schaer represented
the Division of Criminal Justice at the
sentencing. The case was prosecuted by Deputy
Attorney General Francine Ehrenberg, who
took the guilty plea for the Division of
Criminal Justice Major Crimes Bureau.
was arrested by the Orange County Sheriff’s
Office in Florida. She was returned to New
Jersey on June 28 by the U.S. Marshals Service.
The investigation was conducted and coordinated
for the Division of Criminal Justice by
Lt. James MacInnes and Deputy Attorney General